This simple, hands‑on activity gives students practice in identifying function in the biological world and relating it to human design challenges.

Objectives

  • Students will identify biological functions evident in different organisms.
  • Students will relate the biological functions they’ve identified to human challenges in design and technology.

Biomimicry is possible because biology and human design have a concept in common—the concept of function. For example, one function of both a tree and a skyscraper is to stay upright.

This is a simple, hands-on activity in which students are given a one or more functions and asked to look for examples in the biological world that exhibit that function. This activity doesn’t require biological knowledge and instead focuses on honing observation, analytical, and communication skills.

This 30-45 minute activity can be done with almost any age group and builds on and can be used together with other function activities, such as “Seeing” Function.